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Thread: How is the Kenai being managed . . ?

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    Question How is the Kenai being managed . . ?


    Public comment at the May 9th KRSMA meeting minutes:



    CALL TO ORDER

    Roll Call: Joe Connors, Ricky Gease, Brenda Trefon, Carol Padgett, George Heim, Andrew Szczesny, Andrew Carmichael, Brent Johnson, Janet Schmidt, Andy Loranger, Robert Begich, Jack Blackwell. Tim Stevens, Bobbi Jo Kolodziejski.


    Public Comments/Presentations


    Dennis Randa . . Dennis strongly suggested that the board go back and read the enabling legislation of the creation of the Kenai River Special Management area, (AS 41. 21. 400). Denis believes the river is managed more as a playground, not a recreation area and that the governing agencies have not taken the appropriate steps to protect the river its habitat and fishery. Dennis suggested three proposals to the Board of Fisher. They are as follow: 1. Limit the horsepower to 10 hp. 2. Create sanctuaries every mile from the Soldotna Bridge to mouth of the river, and 3. Prohibit any outboard motor exhaust into the river.


    Follow-up public comment from the October 11th KRSMA meeting minutes:




    CALL TO ORDER

    Roll Call:
    Joe Connors, Ricky Gease, Brenda Trefon, Carol Padgett, Andrew Szczesny, Bruce King, Terri Carter, Brent Johnson, Andy Loranger, Robert Begich, Rick Koch, Jack Blackwell.

    Public Comments/Presentations


    Dennis Randa last May spoke to the KRSMA Board about how the Kenai River as a state park unit was not being managed as directed by the enabling legislation; the three purposes of the act (AS 41.21.500) are to:

    • designate the river and selected state-owned uplands as a unit of the state park system;
    • protect and perpetuate the fishery and wildlife resources and habitat in the unit and adjacent area; and
    • manage recreational uses and development activities in the unit and adjacent area.

    My comment to the board was that the park as an experiment for resource management was an abject failure, that the river was being managed as a ‘playground’. And that if we continued to manage it as a ‘playground’ then all we would have in the future would be a playground and not the fishery the legislature intended.
    I challenged the members of the advisory board to ‘step up’ and direct parks management to do the job that the enabling legislation empowered them, no DIRECTED them to do.
    The minutes of the meeting do a disservice to my message, substituting ‘recreation’ for fishery does not anywhere near convey my message and I am here tonight to restate that challenge to the advisory board. Please do not let the condition of the Kenai River be avoided by parks management allowing for the continued decline of this resource.
    As the enabling legislation stated as a general statement of finding “the Kenai River is a resource of importance to the entire state”.
    Finally, my name is spelt with two Ns.
    In his 62 years that in creating the park some 32 years ago was to try avoiding what has happen ever where else along the West Coast of the country. Robert Begich can testify to this, Dennis has told him with all do respect to everyone involved that they have not been able to maintain a wild fishery. Look down the coast there is no fishery. The Kenai River’s king fishery is an abject failing. The data shows the Kenai has been in decline all this century.

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    Thumbs up The Clarion . . .




    —from today's Peninsula Clarion:



    Cohoe resident Dennis Randa has a proposal that’s bound to be controversial.


    Randa is a long-time fishing guide who . . has always had a strong urge to “do what’s right” for fish and fish habitat. A sponge for anything “fishy,” he not only knows about fish and fish habitat, but also the ins and outs of the many fishing issues.



    When the Alaska Board of Fisheries meets early next year to consider Upper Cook Inlet Finfish regulations, one idea they’ll be considering will be Randa’s. His Proposal 220 would prohibit sport fishing for king salmon every other mile in the 10 miles of the Kenai River between Eagle Rock and the Soldotna bridge.

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    Wink Walk the walk . . . or talk the talk . . . ?




    Kenai River guide Dennis Randa's three proposals to the BoF are:


    1) Limit the horsepower to 10 hp.,

    2) Create sanctuaries every mile from the Soldotna Bridge to mouth of the river, and

    3) Prohibit any outboard motor exhaust into the river.


    It's going to prove waaaay more than interesting to see how KRSA, KRPGA, and our sport-fishing/size-matters/C&R contingent reacts to these proposals . . .


    . . . will they support them . . . .
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    Thumbs up Important opportunity . . FREE . . DON"T MISS THIS . . .

    Fri, 15 Nov 2013 16:05:59 -0900

    Subject:
    Kenai River history and habitat

    For the past ~ 5 years I've been researching the environmental history of the Kenai River for a dissertation project at UAF. I'm contacting you because you expressed interest in this project. Now it is coming to fruition.

    Next Friday, Nov. 22, from 1-2 pm, I will present my "dissertation defense" lecture at UAF about the study results. The title is: "The History of Land Use on Alaska’s Kenai River and its Implications for Sustaining Salmon."

    This is a free, public talk, and you don't have to be in Fairbanks to see it.We are arranging a webcast, so people can log in and watch. Also, a Soldotna video-conference site is available. Going there allows you to participate in the Q & A period at the end. The Soldotna site is at the Kenai River Campus of Kenai Peninsula College, in room 203 of the Ward Building. This is a link to campus maps: http://www.kpc.alaska.edu/KRC/maps/


    Please pass this on to friends or colleagues who might be interested. Let me know as soon as possible if you want to receive info about logging in to the webcast.


    Sincerely,
    Shana Loshbaugh

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    I'm sure this presentation will provide important information about salmon sustainability. No doubt it will feed into and support the argument that salmon decline in the Kenai watershed is a freshwater issue due to land use and habitat. Hard to argue and there's no doubt we all need to be good stewards of the land/water. But, I hope Shana at least acknowledges that there are other factors contributing to the decline as well. For instance, the Karluk River is in a refuge (no development) and the king runs are in serious decline. And, the Nelson River, as ADF&G 's Robert Begich described, is a "canary in a coal mine" and the run of king salmon are in decline (there is no sport fishing there). Sustaining salmon is not only "in" there, but it is also "out" there.

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    Smile Hope for better things . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by penguin View Post
    I'm sure this presentation will provide important information about salmon sustainability. No doubt it will feed into and support the argument that salmon decline in the Kenai watershed is a freshwater issue due to land use and habitat. Hard to argue and there's no doubt we all need to be good stewards of the land/water. But, I hope Shana at least acknowledges that there are other factors contributing to the decline as well. For instance, the Karluk River is in a refuge (no development) and the king runs are in serious decline. And, the Nelson River, as ADF&G 's Robert Begich described, is a "canary in a coal mine" and the run of king salmon are in decline (there is no sport fishing there). Sustaining salmon is not only "in" there, but it is also "out" there.

    That might be a bridge too far, penguin . . let's wait and see what the lady has to say.


    To my mind, Ms Lashbaugh's dissertation and Dennis Randa's BoF proposals and testimony before KRSMA are glimmers of hope that we are finally and self-consciously moving the discussion out of the realm of bean-counting/allocation squabbles into the larger arena of socio/economics, use patterns, and sustainability.


    Socio/economic issues are always and fundamentally, though often not self-evidently, at the core of human use of the earth's resources. Listen again to Dr. Montgomery:


    "Though the fate of salmon rests in human hands, it is not clear that we will be able to save them even if our society wants to. Part of the problem lies in the conflict between the inherent uncertainty of the natural sciences and the certainty demanded by policy makers when balancing natural resource protection against economic opportunities."


    We do not manage or allocate Alaska's blueberries or lingonberries . . there are enough of them around to satisfy "economic opportunity" without competition and an attendant need for allocation. As Montgomery points out, the fundamental problem with our fisheries resources is that there isn't enough to satisfy all unbridled economic opportunities. That competition is why we hire bean-counters to define the opportunity and why we elect politicians to then allocate that opportunity.


    "Economic opportunity" means far, far more than a guide's or a set-netter's ability to make money off the resource. "Economic opportunity" means every single way, shape, or form that humans can and do use something. A sport-angler's effort on the upper Kenai is every bit as much an example of "economic opportunity" as is an open period in the inlet for a drift-netter. There are far, far bigger issues here than just who-gets-how-much-of-what.


    We might be seeing a genuine paradigm shift here in our approach to resource use . . I surely hope so . . we've been bogged down too long in the swamp of allocation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by penguin View Post
    I'm sure this presentation will provide important information about salmon sustainability. No doubt it will feed into and support the argument that salmon decline in the Kenai watershed is a freshwater issue due to land use and habitat. Hard to argue and there's no doubt we all need to be good stewards of the land/water. But, I hope Shana at least acknowledges that there are other factors contributing to the decline as well. For instance, the Karluk River is in a refuge (no development) and the king runs are in serious decline. And, the Nelson River, as ADF&G 's Robert Begich described, is a "canary in a coal mine" and the run of king salmon are in decline (there is no sport fishing there). Sustaining salmon is not only "in" there, but it is also "out" there.
    No doubt there are more factors at play than just in the freshwater on the Kenai. While I've heard multiple arguments blaming setnetters and commercial fishing in general for this (or any) decline, I've yet to hear a single person argue that the reduced size of the Kenai King runs are purely a freshwater issue - that would be simplistic and foolish.

    While some choose to stick to the single argument that setnetting is bad, or all commercial fishing is bad, it just doesn't work when trying to explain or discuss something as complex as our fish runs or our fishery.

    We know we are in a period of low productivity - especially in the ocean. We know that some King runs, like the Kenai Late Run and others like the Kuskokwim, Nushagak, Copper, and Deshka saw record escapements well above replacement level in recent years past, and now show less productive but completely sustainable runs. Others, like the Kenai Early Run have not been strong in some time, and suffer from habitat degradation and chronic inriver selective overharvest.

    While it would be wise to keep in mind all aspects of this complicated but very diverse and successful fishery, it would be a really good thing to see a conversation focus on an issue that the politicians, PR firms, representational lobbyists, and chairpeople of the KRSMA advisory board have thusfar chosen to ignore - WHAT THE HECK IS HAPPENING IN OUR RIVER?

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    The Randa proposal is not well thought out. It's unlikely to remedy the problems it seeks to address.

    Close the river every other mile? Seems rather arbitrary and indiscriminate. Which river miles would be closed? The odd ones? The even ones? It seems if removing open fishing areas from the exploitation equation is the strategy he wishes to pursue, something far more surgical would be more appropriate, i.e. close the specific areas with highest impact on mainstem spawners, perhaps during the time period when spawners are most vulnerable.

    As for his concerns about noise pollution, the only way that would be reduced with his strategy is for a motorized boat to just drift without power every other mile as it travels downstream. How would a boat ever be able to get back upstream? The proposal seeks only to ban fishing every other mile. It does address boat traffic that is simply "in transit".

    I think 220 is DOA.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
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    The KeenEye MD

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    Wink Who knew . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by fishNphysician View Post
    The Randa proposal is not well thought out. . . .

    I think 220 is DOA.

    . . . . . . . . .

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    Angry Fishing on spawning beds . . .

    I took the photo below back in the early '70s. My wife and I ran Stephan Lake Lodge for the summer . . she cooked, and I took Germans and Swiss out for kings on Prairie Creek. It was all catch-and-release . . right on the spawning beds . . hadn't a clue . . I was young and stupid.


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    No different from what goes on now in the Kenai . . spawning beds are spawning beds.


    How does anyone justify such an idiotic and destructive obsession for the sake of a "thrill . . a rush . . a sense of conquest . . sheer elation"? Are we insane to allow such nonsense?


    Fish kings in the salt water . . leave them alone on their spawning beds.

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    This whole idea about closing all spawning areas is another red herring. If we closed all salmon spawning areas we would have the Kenai totally closed to in-river fishing except for the lower 8 miles of the river. Pink salmon spawn upstream of this area. Sockeye spawn from 5 miles below Skilak Lake all the way to the Snow River in Kenai lake, coho spawn through out the drainage as does chinook. So just looking at the Kenai with the idea that spawning areas are somehow to be left alone is over the top for that reason alone.

    What managers look at is whether the activity and timing of the fishery puts the sustainable yield and resource at risk-either by over-harvest or genetic selection. There are spawning areas that should be closed and others remain opened. In the case of the Kasilof River tributaries in T. lake sockeye are concentrated, easily caught, and in poor condition for human consumption - result - closed to fishing. Quartz Creek, Hidden Creek, and other small tributaries in the Kenai have the same type of closure. However, we allow sport fishing in the Russian River below the falls even though sockeye spawn in the thousands below the falls. Little risk to genetic issues or over harvest.

    In the case of Kenai chinook salmon the tributary spawners probably need additional protection and the main stem spawners that come in during May and June that spawn in July no doubt need additional protection. This is because the fishery targets them longer and the fishery is selective for large females. Not having a fishery in August actually causes some concern about run timing shifts and maybe an August chinook fishery is needed.

    So it is just too simplistic to say close the spawning areas, much more complex than that.


    Relative to the proposal to close every other mile it is hard to figure out how that would work to protect the resource. The idea of having large closed areas to protect rearing juveniles and spawning adults is one concept that could work above the Sunken Island or there about. However, to just close some portion below Soldotna and leave the Middle River open makes little sense. Also, if one wants to just reduce exploitation rate there are easier ways to do it and not cause enforcement problems. So while Dennis's heart is in the right place his proposal does not accomplish much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    We might be seeing a genuine paradigm shift here in our approach to resource use . . I surely hope so . . we've been bogged down too long in the swamp of allocation.
    No argument here. As I see it, the "paradigm shift" you seek will likely bring a broader context to fishery management decisions, on the KP and elsewhere (if done correctly). Which is great. But at the end of the day somebody, somewhere, still has to make an allocation decision. Even if that decision is that nobody gets anything. I acknowledge (but don't necessarily agree) with your suggestion that ADF&G, elected officials, or whoever should make decisions based more on socio-ecomonic factors than biological outcomes. But I don't think we can avoid the allocation issue. We still need to know who gets how much of what, and when.

    So as my good friends from the Deep South would say: "That there swamp ain't gowin anywhere......"

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    Smile Daylight dawning in the swamp . . . ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cohoangler View Post
    No argument here. As I see it, the "paradigm shift" you seek will likely bring a broader context to fishery management decisions, on the KP and elsewhere (if done correctly). Which is great. But at the end of the day somebody, somewhere, still has to make an allocation decision. Even if that decision is that nobody gets anything. I acknowledge (but don't necessarily agree) with your suggestion that ADF&G, elected officials, or whoever should make decisions based more on socio-ecomonic factors than biological outcomes. But I don't think we can avoid the allocation issue. We still need to know who gets how much of what, and when.

    So as my good friends from the Deep South would say: "That there swamp ain't gowin anywhere......"

    No, no argument here either. And I totally agree that as long as there are competing economic opportunities for any resource, fish or whatever, allocation will always be an issue.


    That said, I am perhaps not making myself clear.


    For far too long here, our allocation issues have been bogged down in your "Deep South" swamp of bean-counting . . numbers, numbers, ever-changing numbers mustered by one side or another, one agenda or another, all asserting they have the moral high ground, super-dooper science, the best interests of the resource, yadda, yadda, yadda . . ad nauseam.


    All, all, all, and all allocation issues are socio-economic. Bean-counting comes later, telling us how to accomplish social priorities. For far, far, far too long the social issues surrounding allocation have been disguised as "biological outcome" issues. 'Tain't so.


    The paradigm shift I'm hoping and looking for is when we openly and fully acknowledge that allocation issues are ever, always, and only socio-economic. Never, never, never are they outcome/biological/scientific/etc.


    Even the decisions about why and what we should save/preserve are fundamentally socio-economic. Bean-counting begins only when we decide the beans need to be counted.

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    Socio-economic is removed from bean counting? Pray tell how does one do an economic analysis without bean counting (which by the way is very insulting to scientists who work in the various fields). Also, social issues are usually always discussed on the ramifications on a user group or society and I have never heard one that does not involve some statistical analysis.

    Also, some here obviously have not attended a BOF fish meeting in a long time. The social and economic considerations in the decision making process are there more than the biological. The biology of the fish have had little to do with the discussions. It is about economic impact, family culture, fairness, urban vs rural, subsistence lifestyle, and power politics.

    Here is what the Board is required to look at before passing regulations. They go through these criteria on every proposal passed to make a record. It may not be a great record but they do it and reference this sections from the law. So it is there and from the recent Board of Fish meetings we hear a lot more about economic value of the fisheries and these social issues than any biological discussion.

    The Board of Fisheries may allocate fishery resources among personal use, sport, guided sport, and commercial fisheries. The board shall adopt criteria for the allocation of fishery resources and shall use the criteria as appropriate to particular allocation decisions. The criteria may include factors such as(1) the history of each personal use, sport, guided sport, and commercial fishery;(2) the number of residents and nonresidents who have participated in each fishery in the past and the number of residents and nonresidents who can reasonably be expected to participate in the future;(3) the importance of each fishery for providing residents the opportunity to obtain fish for personal and family consumption;(4) the availability of alternative fisheries resources;(5) the importance of each fishery to the economy of the state;(6) the importance of each fishery to the economy of the region and local area in which the fishery is located;(7) the importance of each fishery in providing recreational opportunities for residents and nonresidents.

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    Lightbulb More definition . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Cohoangler View Post
    . . socio-ecomonic factors than biological outcomes . .

    Cohoangler, iIn order to avoid more confusion or misunderstanding, let me clarify my use of "socio-economic." The difference between "socio-economics" and "biological outcomes" lets us distinguish between politicians trying to do science and natural scientists trying to do politics.


    It is great error to labor under the impression that "economics" is somehow synonymous or equates with "money." Not even close.


    Economics is a social science. Economics is the study, description, and analysis of all human activity, in any and every form, under whatever social structure, in pursuit of production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.


    In distinction, the natural sciences are "hard" science—purely materialistic—in the employ of social goals economically defined. The natural sciences can decide nothing, they can only examine, quantify, define, and if their data/theories are correct, predict materialistic outcome. That said, the natural sciences are inherently uncertain.


    For instance, natural science cannot say we need to save our blueberries or our salmon or our mushrooms or, or, or . . those are social questions of social use and priorities. We don't need to manage blueberries and mushrooms in Alaska . . there exists no economic competition for the available supply. We do, however, need to manage our salmon but only because we have decided, as a social order, that the salmon and worth keeping around for various reasons.


    Hope that makes things more clear . . I do think we are in substantial agreement here.

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    Again, I agree. However, both natural sciences and socio-economic considerations need quantifiable metrics. As Nerka points out, that includes #'s of fish or $$'s. I don't equate socio-economics with money any more than I equate number of Pacific salmon with surivival estimates or growth rates. And I'm sure you don't either. But if we are to compare various allocation scenarios we need common metrics, with the understanding that those metrics only provide one parameter, of many, on which to make management decisions. In that sense, socio-economic considerations are no different than biological considerations.

    On a related note, it is a luxury that the folks in the Great Land do not have to regulate mushrooms. Here in the PNW, we do, particularly on Federal and State land. The economic return on mushroom hunting is simply too great to be left unregulated, particularly for morels, chaterelles, king boletes, and white matsutake. In fact, one study found that the value of the mushroom crop in the PNW on some Federal lands, exceeded the value of any potential harvest of timber.

    We're not there yet on blueberries, but give it time......

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    Thumbs up Good one . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Cohoangler View Post
    1) Again, I agree. However, both natural sciences and socio-economic considerations need quantifiable metrics. *As Nerka points out, that includes #'s of fish or $$'s. I don't equate socio-economics with money any more than I equate number of Pacific salmon with surivival estimates or growth rates. And I'm sure you don't either. But 2) if we are to compare various allocation scenarios we need common metrics, with the understanding that those metrics only provide one parameter, of many, on which to make management decisions. 3) In that sense, socio-economic considerations are no different than biological considerations.

    On a related note, it is a luxury that the folks in the Great Land do not have to regulate mushrooms. Here in the PNW, we do, particularly on Federal and State land. The economic return on mushroom hunting is simply too great to be left unregulated, particularly for morels, chaterelles, king boletes, and white matsutake. In fact, one study found that the value of the mushroom crop in the PNW on some Federal lands, exceeded the value of any potential harvest of timber.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cohoangler View Post

    We're not there yet on blueberries, but give it time......

    Oh, very well said . . now we're making progress.


    1) No, no, and emphatically "no." There neither is nor can there be any common metric between the natural and social sciences. They constitute two, radically different aspects of existence. The natural sciences are, by definition and necessarily, strictly materialistic. The natural sciences cannot assign value, cannot address ethics or morality, cannot differentiate between social priorities, and so on. That is not to say that natural science and socio-economics are not intertwined, but they have no common, quantifiable metric.


    2) See above . . there is no common metric. Allocation is strictly a socio-economic question; once the question is answered, natural science expedites the decision materialistically. Politics aren't science, and science isn't political.


    3) Again, they are totally different. One is essentially metaphysical, the other essentially physical/materialistic. This is why it is not correct to say "manage our fisheries scientifically." That is error. Our fisheries, all our resources, are managed socially. All natural science does is to implement social decisions and priorities. When someone says we need our fisheries managed "scientifically," you may be absolutely sure it is a smoke screen for allocation. Nor am I arguing against science or against the need for science . . no one need go there. Science is a materialistic tool, not a philosophy.


    Strictly speaking, Cohoangler, the only belief-system/world-view that sees social and natural sciences as part and parcel of the same, quantifiable metric is Philosophical Materialism.


    Finally, loved your mushroom example. Once the socio-economics are in place, management follows . . but not until.





    *
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    cannot comment. Both Nerka and I have been instructed to ignore each other's posts in the interests of forum peace.

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    And NERKA said "However, we allow sport fishing in the Russian River below the falls even though sockeye spawn in the thousands below the falls. Little risk to genetic issues or over harvest."

    Is this projection? "WE" are former if the previous discussions are to be believed. Perhaps Alaska? Or ADF&G?

    Ok, Shirley you jest and I won't call you surely any more if you quit it.
    Terry

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tee Jay View Post
    And NERKA said "However, we allow sport fishing in the Russian River below the falls even though sockeye spawn in the thousands below the falls. Little risk to genetic issues or over harvest."

    Is this projection? "WE" are former if the previous discussions are to be believed. Perhaps Alaska? Or ADF&G?

    Ok, Shirley you jest and I won't call you surely any more if you quit it.
    Terry
    We is the public through the BOF process. I worked for ADF&G for 20 years and had a great time with the Department. However, I would make the case that the public is not involved as it should be for a number of the issues on this forum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post

    The Board of Fisheries may allocate fishery resources among personal use, sport, guided sport, and commercial fisheries. The board shall adopt criteria for the allocation of fishery resources and shall use the criteria as appropriate to particular allocation decisions. The criteria may include factors such as(1) the history of each personal use, sport, guided sport, and commercial fishery;(2) the number of residents and nonresidents who have participated in each fishery in the past and the number of residents and nonresidents who can reasonably be expected to participate in the future;(3) the importance of each fishery for providing residents the opportunity to obtain fish for personal and family consumption;(4) the availability of alternative fisheries resources;(5) the importance of each fishery to the economy of the state;(6) the importance of each fishery to the economy of the region and local area in which the fishery is located;(7) the importance of each fishery in providing recreational opportunities for residents and nonresidents.
    It seems to me that for the Kenai at least, a little more attention to #6 above wouldn't hurt. ALL of the fisheries we presently have on the Kenai are important to the local community that depends on this resource the most. Eliminating one fishery would be just as harmful as allowing another to grow completely unchecked. The BOF will face all of these issues this go-round. I can only hope that the individuals on the board believe that #6 is as important to Alaska and its coastal communities as I do.

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